PEi Connect provides a brief look at what got our attention during the week (16-22 Sep), and first up we highlight a big announcement out of the UN General Assembly in New York this week, that Chinese President Xi Jinping has committed to cease funding all new coal projects abroad.
China’s big green pledge
Even though details are currently sketchy, the goal is clear, China will no longer fund new coal-power projects abroad.
As diplomatic pressure ramps us ahead of COP26, we have to wonder if this is mere lip service or if the announcement signals a real change of heart.
Even though the country is far from green, change is evident. China’s Belt and Road Initiative avoided funding any coal projects in the first half of 2021 according to Bloomberg, a first for the infrastructure development initiative. Also, the country is investing heavily in hydropower and small modular nuclear reactors to diversify its energy mix and decarbonise.
Read more about the announcement.
Speaking of China…
China is about to embark on a nuclear experiment on the edge of the Gobi Desert, at a place called Wuwei. According to Dave Makichuk of Asia Times, the form of nuclear energy will be safe and inexpensive as it won’t require water to cool nuclear fuel rods nor uranium.
It will run on Thorium and use molten salt for cooling.
Thorium is a weakly radioactive, silvery metal that occurs naturally in rocks and unlike Uranium, its waste products are less weapons-grade, making it safer and greener. Read more.
Perceptions of an industry under pressure
Ambitious clean energy targets are politically popular but achieving them may be too a tall order, or are they?
A newly released report by Deloitte, Renewable transition: Separating perception from reality, provides interesting insights into how the industry is responding to the urgent need to decarbonise electricity.
In just 10 years, renewable energy’s share of US electricity generation has doubled, however, this pace must be accelerated in order to meet 2050 goals.
This reality has many power professionals skeptical and according to the report, about two-thirds are not sure emissions-free electricity is attainable by 2035. Read more about Deloitte’s findings.
On the topic, guest editor for Smart Energy International, Jonathan Spencer Jones talks about whether science-based targets are actually feasible. Read his thoughts about the holy grail of net zero.
Lifesaving system launched for offshore energy
You never want to hear the words “man overboard,” but if you do, what more could you hope for than an unmanned, remotely operated vessel with easy-open door handles, an air-conditioned cabin, and a helicopter pick up zone?
Naval architect Chartwell Marine and start-up Zelim were funded by Innovate UK and have launched a unique life-saving vessel, which will be mounted onto offshore structures and deployed into the water via a 25m free fall. Take a look at the video below to see how it works.
Connect with us next week for another selection of interesting sector news.
Until then, take care, stay safe and power on.
The PEi Ed team 🙂